Casey Treat: Use Every Endeavor to Heal Yourself
By Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club
A teenage boy sticks a needle in his arm for a high. Does he realize that his drug use could threaten his life 30 years later? That’s exactly what happened to Casey Treat.
In 2003, a routine medical exam for a life insurance policy revealed that Hepatitis C was killing him.
“At that time they said I had a four percent chance of clearing the virus and most likely what was going to happen over the next few years, my liver would fail,” Casey said. “Then I would either need a liver transplant, which was difficult, or I would die young.”
At first, Casey couldn’t figure out where he had contracted Hepatitis C. The doctor explained to him and his wife, Wendy, that Hepatitis C was a slow growing virus, likely introduced into Casey’s blood stream years ago when he was abusing IV drugs as a teenager. Regardless of when or where it started, the fight was now on.
“From the moment I sat down with Wendy, it was never, ‘I’m sick, I could die.’ It was, ‘I’ve been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. We have a battle that we will win,’” Casey said.
“I cried and then I said, OK, what am I going to do? How am I going to deal with this? Casey and I of course prayed together,” Wendy said.
“Of course, Wendy and I staying in agreement,” Casey said. “Not kind of just nonchalantly, ‘Oh yeah, we’re praying.’ No. Purposefully praying, specifically praying and purposefully agreeing together in prayer.”
Doctors recommended a double dose of chemotherapy and other medicines for 11 months. But they told Casey that even with treatment there was only a four percent chance of clearing the disease. With so few options, Casey needed direction. Then one of his physicians shared a scripture that gave Casey a plan of attack.
“The scripture that I received was Proverbs 18:9, and the Amplified Version says, ‘Use every endeavor to heal yourself, lest you’re a brother to him who commits suicide.’ So to me that said use all your tools,” Casey said, “medicine, prayer, faith, doctors, treatment, chiropractic care, naturopathic care - use it all.”
And that’s what they did.
“I think sometimes we take the either or approach,” Casey said. “Should I trust God or should a use medicine? Well that’s to me - should I trust God or eat healthy? Let’s do both. Can I believe the Bible or should I drink lots of fresh water? Yes, do both. And if there’s medicine that can help, let’s trust God and use the medicine.”
Casey continued to pastor his church of 8,000 in the greater Seattle area and was treated with a double dose of chemotherapy drugs. He experienced the common side effects of the treatment – nausea, fatigue, hair loss and weight loss. But he also stuck with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drank lots of water and visited a chiropractor regularly.
“There were hard days. There were sad days,” Casey said. “I reserved days by myself to get depressed. Then, when I’m with the family and the church it’s like, ‘We have a life to live; let’s get on with it.’”
Amazingly, the virus cleared in the first month of treatments. But because Hepatitis C can hide, and return much stronger, Casey continued his regimen.
“I spent 10 months with no viral load, with no trace of the symptom of the disease; but I obeyed their counsel because I wanted to complete everything I started,” he said.
After all treatments ended, Casey was monitored by doctors through blood tests regularly for the next two years.
“The doctor wrote a letter actually to the insurance company and it said, ‘You can insure Mr. Treat. He will die someday, but it won’t be from Hepatitis,’” Casey said.
Casey wants to reach out to people during their darkest hour so he wrote, How to be Your Best When You Feel Your Worst. He says that he doesn’t believe he’s any more special than anyone else; he just believed God gave him a plan and he followed it.
“It’s amazing. It’s exciting. But it’s the tangible of living by faith,” Wendy said. “It is that we do trust in God. We have a destiny. We have a journey. But sometimes to fulfill our earth destiny we have to fight.”
“I think God said, ‘I’ll make you a better pastor, a better husband, a better father, as you walk through this disease.’ Not because it was God’s will for me to be sick,” Casey said. “But because God is so big, that if we’re truly walking with Him, even the attacks of the enemy add to our life and only make us better.”Can God change your life?
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